SoFi, JetBlue partner to help U.S. customers refinance student loans

By Moriah Costa on Wednesday 31 May 2017

Alternative Lending

The collaboration allows JetBlue customers to earn airline points for refinancing their student loans with SoFi.

With U.S. students facing uncertainty about who their federal loan servicer will be, direct lender SoFi is trying to do more to encourage people to refinance.

The company is partnering with airline JetBlue to give their customers one point for every $2 refinanced with SoFi. The partnership is available to the airlines TrueBlue members, who can earn up to 50,000 points.

SoFi claims that its refinancing service saves customers an average monthly savings of $288.

"We hear every day from SoFi members that refinancing their student loans helps them get more out of life," said Catesby Perrin, vice president of business development at SoFi. "We're thrilled to work with JetBlue to open up a world of travel opportunities while helping people pay off their student loans faster at the same time."

Americans owe over $1.4trn in student debt, which often causes them to hold off on things like traveling and buying homes. The class of 2016 graduated with an average of $37,172 in student loan debt, a six per cent increase from the year prior.

According to a LendingTree study, 53 per cent of younger Americans say travel is the one thing they have put off due to student debt payments, more than buying a home (45 per cent) and saving for retirement (38 per cent).

"Our new partnership with SoFi truly rewards loyalty, allowing TrueBlue members to earn points while lowering their student loan debt," said Scott Resnick, director of loyalty marketing at JetBlue. "SoFi has created an innovative model that helps those with debt refinance while earning points for future travel."

SoFi is one of the largest online student lenders in the U.S. and is also looking into moving into other finance areas, such as banking. It has already moved into mortgages, consumer loan and insurance products. The company also recently announced it was launching a robo advice type online wealth management service. 

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